The Writings hold many beautiful teachings about what it is to live a happy, useful, heavenly life. But we have to live those teachings in order to feel their impact. Mary shares about a church and a pastor who have helped her to see the Writings in a new light. -Editor.
So why do you keep visiting Kentucky? An experience with a new kind of New Church.
In the past year I have traveled to Louisville, Kentucky seven times and I am heading there again for a month this summer. No I have not found a new passion for fried chicken or horse racing. I keep going back because of the Church of Truth. If you have not heard about the Church of Truth, it is located in the inner city of Louisville and lead by Brother Edward Miller. It is New Church (i.e. following the Teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg) but it is not under any other New Church organization (i.e. it is not part of the General Church or the Convention etc. and no other organization is funding what they are doing).
So you might say, “That’s nice but why should I care? I don’t live anywhere near Kentucky and I am perfectly happy with the church I already have.”
There is something different happening there and it is worth paying attention. The Lord teaches us throughout His Word that we are not just to study the Word but we are meant to LIVE it. As it says in
…man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.So we in the New Church who believe that the Teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg are also the Word of God, have a lot to live up to. We also have a deeper understanding of how and why.
We study and we quote and we know all about how this or that works in heaven. The question is: do we live it? Do we study every passage with the understanding that its purpose is to teach us how to live the Commandments because they are the laws of the Lord’s kingdom? There is a battle that needs to be fought in each person so that the Lord can come forth in THIS WORLD. Heaven sure sounds good to me from what Swedenborg describes, so why aren’t we fired up to do what He says and make way for “His Kingdom to come and His will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven?” We have the vision, we have the tools and we have the resources to stand strong in this battle. Are you ready to stand?
When I went down to the Church of Truth I experienced the Teachings of the New Church coming to life off the pages and changing the world by way of people who were willing to battle with the hell they had once loved. I felt myself coming alive in the presence of the Lord. The Lord showed me that He is in His Word. He is real and present and loving me. He asked me to make room for Him so that I could be a vessel for the Master’s use. I experienced this because Brother Miller has battled to cast down anything that is from himself and to be that kind of vessel. The Lord is able to be present at the Church of Truth because He has a vessel.
This is exactly what the Teachings teach us. Look at Swedenborg’s life. He didn’t have the Teachings – he had just the Bible. He fought to live the Lord’s Commandments and the Lord was able to use him as a servant. What if rather than just studying Swedenborg like a history text book we fought to live the Truth like he did? He often mentions people becoming regenerate on earth as rare but completely possible. Why does the Lord have him tell us that if not to offer us the opportunity? Why does religion have to take a back burner to all the other cares of life? What if we treated our regeneration as the number one priority to be fought for in every area of our lives? What if each one of us made it our mission to love the Lord above all, love our neighbors as ourselves and be of useful service? What if the Lord had a servant here in the earth to help us put down our selfish loves and start a new life? What if we all had the opportunity to become that kind of servant and help others? We could experience heaven on earth.
So why do I keep going back to Kentucky? I go because the Lord is present in His Word there. There is a vessel for the Master’s use in Brother Miller and I am learning how to become a vessel too. Religion is life and life is religion. Don’t let hell convince you that your relationship with the Lord has to be a distant or part time one. He wants to be present with you in every moment and to use your life to spread His truth and touch people who need Him. So maybe the question really is, when are you coming to Kentucky?
Mary is currently working as the school counselor at Bryn Athyn Elementary School. During school breaks she can often be found in Louisville, KY. She is happy to talk more with anyone who is interested in the Church of Truth. Other favorite activities include hiking, acting and cross-stitching.